Saturday, April 18, 2009

Working with beeswax ~ Verses

Beeswax is a wonderful and natural alternative to the synthetic modeling materials available (which are too bright and smell bad not to mention TOXIC!). It is all natural, non toxic and it smells so nice when you work with it. Another benefit is that it doesn't tend to really blend like the play dough - so you can use it time and again. Primarily though, I think what is best about it is that it takes human warmth to make it work. The other "stuff" feels cold and is non reactive. You can feel the warmth and love of the bees when working with beeswax! I know several moms who place it into their bras or their pockets to warm it up before the lesson begins! Another purpose of using the beeswax vs. play dough is that you have to sit patiently and slowly work the wax. Children learn patience...

In a Waldorf setting, beeswax is introduced very early, in preschool. Generally the children make gnomes, flowers, frogs or bugs. Starting with quite small pieces helps. The children find it very relaxing and it is a calming activity. Good tip: Buy many colors and pack in a ziplock baggie. On long vacations it literally works wonders as children get very creative when sitting still for so long - you'll be amazed at the creative settings they will come up with! We take it in long drives, planes, trains, ferries.....

A good idea is to tell a fairy tale and let the little ones keep their hands busy warming the wax during the telling of the story. (Remember that you should also be working a piece to correctly model it for them.) Please by all means let the littlest helpers work the wax too - they like to just pinch and squeeze and feel the warming effect and will feel so "big" when allowed to participate with older siblings or friends.

THEN as they get ready for lessons, you can shape the figures, or letters that go with the story for the days lesson...

Here is a sweet beeswax verse:

Little bees give their gift of gold
For you my little dears to warm and hold.
Story time is here to tell
Come listen to the fairy's spell
Create with your gift of gold
Something kind, true and bold.

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